Kimmie from That Girl in the Wheelchair posed an interesting question to some fellow vintage bloggers and me in an email the other day:
I have a question. My sister teaches in a school that is really old and they have a lot of old desks, filing cabinets, globes etc (from the mid century likely). In the summer, they are demo'ing the school...and they are basically throwing a lot of it away. Because you all are salvage queens. I told her I would put my feelers out and find out what would be worth salvaging. If she finds anything good..she is gonna put her name on it.
Oh my GOODNESS, oh my GOD. What an opportunity. And do I have a million opinions on this? I do. I got so excited I up and did a whole post on it. Folks, let's talk vintage school.
|Vintage Flashcards Multiplication Tables Aged Paper Black Print Assemblage Supplies 1960s Lot of 10|
My dad being a career teacher and lifelong picker, I grew up with tons of cast off school and industrial-style appointments in our house. In the early nineties', he had the opportunity to do a similar clean-out to Kimmie's sister's situation with another teacher at Isaac Litton High School, before it was demolished, instructed by his principal to "go out there and grab anything you think you could use". I don't think that principal, at the time, realized the streak of vintage hoarding that runs through my dad's side of the family (and right onto into the present generation, in the form of me!).My imagination lights up like a pinball machine every time he tells the story of filing cabinets full of old service awards, typewriters in the typing class neatly put away with their dustcovers, library tables and clocks and roll down maps and manipulatives all here, there, and everywhere, waiting for a first day of school that was not coming. He said the spookiest part of picking the boarded-up building was a) opening a closet to find a full-sized model skeleton (which went to a science classroom at his then-home school, Highland Heights), and b) coming across a blackboard in one classroom upon which someone had neatly written the message, in chalk, "Time is not refundable". Whoooo! Spooky, right?
|School Chart - Elementary School Poster - Mid Century - English - Industrial - Ideal School Supply Co.|
|VINTAGE 1960s Women's Volleyball Trophy / Gold Metal on Wood Base / Athletic Achievement|
|Replogle 10 inch globe|
Having melanine trays in the kitchen cupboards and those Heywood Wakefield school chairs in not only my run-down, inner city elementary school, but also in my childhood home, led me to have both a fondness and a certain immunity to vintage school collectibles as I became of an age where fellow pickers would be buying items along those lines. I remember the first time I saw a roll down map in a vintage-resale setting and casually looked at the price tag. What, five bucks? Twenty on the outside? Try $125. For a roll down map. Of which my dad had probably twenty in his classroom storage room and another five at the house. My jaw could have scraped the floor. Really? Was this stuff actually worth something? I mean, it was neat, duh, but I thought we were the only weirdos in the state with vintage classroom materials in a domestic setting. You mean it's fashionable?
Suddenly these type of chairs, which I swear were out on the concrete patch near the playground in my elementary school for the two PE teachers and the custodian to sit in, 365 days a year, until the color faded to a weird, pinkish bruise of a non-color, were at collectible stores with similar price tags to their actually-from-a-store counterparts. Granted, these in the picture come in an early seventies', Stevie-Wonder-album-cover color palette, but still!
Cognizant of these prices, I pulled together another number of things I thought Kimmie's sister might be smart to lay hands on. From my email:
|Retro Rand McNally Asia Africa Middle East Pull Down Map 62" L x 54" W|
|Vintage Molded Plastic Chairs, Mid Century Modern Stacking School Chairs, Set of 4|
Oooooh. What a neat opportunity! I'd say any kind of mid century atomic looking things would be winners. Card catalogs, old manipulatives or classroom decorations (times table, addition charts, etc for classroom use that are pre-1980's), steelcase desks, chairs... anything that looks like it came from the office set of Dragnet is just catnip for 21st century collectors.
|Vintage Pennant ROSLYN High SCHOOL Long Island NY big Bulldog logo antique felt|
Check common storage rooms for old year books, textbooks, overhead projectors, radios, record players, and trophies (you would be surprised how many "50 year service awards" for teachers from like 1970 are collecting dust in the back of large metal cabinets because they needed wall space for sports awards). Typewriters!
|Large Industrial Retro School Clock by Simplex|
|Vintage Lockers Metal Industrial School Locker Storage Cabinet|
|Vintage School Locker Basket Gym Number Plate Wire Baskets|
|Vintage school Photo of Massie School 1938|
|Vintage School Science pH Kit by La Motte|
|Vintage Audiotronics 312T Transistor Classroom Record Player & Case|
That's all for today. I'm off to re-evaluate my home for a possible Frankenstein lab redecoration. Obviously. See you guys tomorrow!